The European Union’s (EU’s) research commissioner Philippe Busquin has backed bids by both France and Spain to host the large ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in, respectively, the cities of Cadarache and Vandellos.

His support follows the announcement that Japan has formally proposed the city of Rokkasho as a site, joining Canada in making a formal application. Busquin stressed that the EU will spend E750 million on fusion studies in the Euratom portion of the incoming EU Sixth Framework Programme on research, saying that this “should create conditions to launch the construction of ITER within the next few years.”